Glossary of Car Accidents Law Terms “C”

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


Calendar: List of cases arranged for hearing in court.

Caption: The caption of a pleading, or other papers connected with a case in court, is the heading or introductory clause which shows the names of the parties, name of the court, number of the case, etc.

Case: Any proceeding, action, cause, lawsuit or controversy initiated through the court system by filing a complaint, petition, indictment or information.

Caseload: The number of cases a judge handles in a specific time period.

Cause of action: A legal claim.

Certiorari: Procedure for removing a case from a lower court or administrative agency to a higher court for review.

Challenge for cause: A request by a party that the court excuse a specific juror on the basis that the juror is biased.

Citation: Summons to appear in court. 2. Reference to authorities in support of a legal argument.

Civil law: All law that is not criminal law. Usually pertains to the settlement of disputes between individuals, organizations or groups and having to do with the establishment, recovery or redress of private and civil rights.

Claim: The assertion of a right to money or property.

Clerk of the court: An officer of a court whose principal duty is to maintain court records and preserve evidence presented during a trial.

Closing argument: The closing statement, by counsel, to the trier of facts after all parties have concluded their presentation of evidence.

Collision Insurance: This covers loss to the insured person’s own auto caused by its collision with another vehicle or object.

Code: A collection, compendium or revision of laws systematically arranged into chapters, table of contents and index and promulgated by legislative authority.

Commit: To lawfully send a person to prison, a reformatory or an asylum

Common law: Law which derives its authority solely from usage and customs of immemorial antiquity or from the judgments and decrees of courts. also called “case law.”

Comparative negligence: Negligence of a plaintiff in a civil suit which decreases his recovery by his percentage of negligence compared to a defendant’s negligence.

Competency: In the law of evidence, the presence of those characteristics which render a witness legally fit and qualified to give testimony.

Complaint: In a civil case, it is the initial document entered by the plaintiff which states the claims against the defendant.

Contempt of court: Any act that is meant to embarrass, hinder or obstruct a court in the administration of justice. Direct contempt is committed in the presence of the court; indirect contempt is when a lawful order is not carried out or refused.

Continuance: Adjournment of the proceedings in a case from one day to another.

Corroborating evidence: Evidence supplementary to that already given and tending to strengthen or confirm it.

Costs: An allowance for expenses in prosecuting or defending a suit. Ordinarily does not include attorney’s fees.

Counter claim: Claim presented by a defendant in opposition to, or deduction from, the claim of the plaintiff.

Court: Place where justice is administered.

Court administrator: Manager of administrative, non judicial affairs of the court.

Court commissioner: A judicial officer at both trial and appellate court levels who performs many of the same duties as judges and justices.

Court of appeals: Intermediate appellate court to which most appeals are taken from superior court.

Court superior: State trial court of general jurisdiction.

Court supreme: “Court of last resort.” Highest court in the state and final appellate court.

Courts of limited jurisdiction: Includes district, municipal and police courts.

Comprehensive Coverage: Covers damage to a vehicle caused by an event other than a collision or overturn. Examples include fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects.

Criminal law: Body of law pertaining to crimes against the state or conduct detrimental to society as a whole. Violation of criminal statues are punishable by law.

Cross examination: The questioning of a witness by the party opposed to the one who produced the witness.